How the interview process has changed for job seekers

Job seeking has never been easy, but it has become especially challenging in the last two years.

The Covid-19 pandemic altered how people view their lives and careers and has led to a shift in what candidates want from prospective employers throughout the hiring process.

In what ways has the interview process changed for candidates?

A shift to virtual interviews

One of the most notable changes brought about by the pandemic was the shift to virtual interviews, which has given candidates access to a wider pool of opportunities.

A virtual interview process means that workers have been able to enjoy cost and time savings, greater scheduling flexibility and the ability to fit interviews in and around other commitments. Many see virtual interviews as a convenient alternative to the laborious process of in-person meetings as it reduces the need to take time off work and to navigate heavy traffic. Now job seekers can attend the interview from the comfort of their own home, which saves them both time and energy and increases the time they have to prepare for the interview.

With many relishing the greater flexibility offered by virtual interviewing, others have struggled to adjust to the different set of challenges it poses. These include the pressure to find a quiet space at home, the need to minimise distractions and ensure that they have a stable internet connection. According to StandOut CV, 7 in 10 candidates claim to have missed out on a job opportunity due to technology problems on a video interview.

The demand for greater flexibility

Candidates want to be able to fit their job search around work and home responsibilities. And now they are aware that many organisations offer flexible working, they are less likely to be tolerant of prospective employers who insist that they travel into the office for interviews, which could result in them having to take time off work or arrange childcare. An inflexible interview process also gives the impression that the organisation isn’t committed to providing flexible working arrangements.

Candidate questions have changed

In a post pandemic world, the priorities topping candidate’s lists have changed. In the interview, they now want to ask about travel and vaccination requirements, the level of flexibility they’ll be awarded in their role, whether the company offers hybrid working models, or whether they expect employees to be in the office full time. They also want to know if there’ll be opportunities to work from home permanently.

Candidates want to work for organisations who value diversity and inclusion

With the pandemic impacting workers in complex ways, interviewees are keen to learn what employers are doing to foster an inclusive workplace. Job seekers want to work for organisations that align with their personal values, and so for many, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) will be at the top of the agenda as they attend for an interview.

Gaps in employment are no longer a problem

An inconsistent work history on a candidate’s CV would probably have raised eyebrows a few years ago. However, with so many workers having faced job losses due to the pandemic, recruiters are now less concerned about these gaps and interviewees are under less pressure to explain them.

The job market is hot and candidates have the power

A candidate-favouring market means interviewees have greater bargaining power and can take a bolder approach by asking the hiring manager tough questions. Candidate decisions are no longer just financially led, they want to gain sufficient knowledge about the company, role and culture to make sure this is the right move for them.

Just some of the interview questions we recommend asking in a post-pandemic environment are:

  •  How would you describe your management style?
  • Why did you select me for an interview?
  • What was it that attracted you to my CV?
  • How do you envision my role developing over time?
  • Who will I be working most closely with?
  • Has there been a lot of turnover in this role?
  • Could you tell me about the training and development opportunities you offer?
  • Will I be able to work from home either full or part time?
  • Why should I choose you over other organisations?

Candidates want to know how businesses support the mental health and wellbeing of their employees

With post-pandemic stress and anxiety taking its toll, candidates could now be undergoing a career transition because they are burned out or disappointed that their previous employer didn’t do more to support their mental health and wellbeing. Thus, conversations around wellness initiatives have become a focal point in interviews.

How CY Partners can help you navigate a challenging interview process

In a tough recruitment market that continues to change, we understand how overwhelming the interview process can be.

Here are just some of the reasons why utilising the expertise of a specialist recruiter such as CY Partners could make finding your next role a lot more straight forward:

We’re here to offer support and guidance

Each member of our team is a recruitment and talent solution expert operating within a specific sector and the market knowledge and industry understanding we have ensure that we are able to provide expert service to all our customers. We also have an in depth understanding of our client’s requirements and can offer tips and pointers to help you shine.

We’ll help you ace the interview

As expert scientific recruiters, we can help you polish your CV and strengthen your interview technique by providing constructive feedback. And if the interview doesn’t lead to a job offer, we’ll help you understand what went wrong and then work with you to ensure you nail it next time round.

We take the stress out of interviewing

We know the market, so we keep things simple by arming you with all the information you need to be successful. We do everything in our power to make the process as straight forward as possible, including providing clarification around stages, time frames and decision-making.

Finally, to maximise your chances of interview success, do your best to be prepared. Educate yourself about the company, practice answers to typical interview questions and come armed with questions of your own.

We’re confident that our specialist knowledge and support could prove instrumental in your career progression, so why not get in touch with us today to see how we could help.

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